This is Devington Shopping Center, located at Arlington Avenue and Staughton Drive (near 46th Street). The colorful mural here was painted by Arlington Students several years ago. Stop by and take a closer look sometime. But for this case, notice the color. It’s liveliness as seen here from the street. Arlington High School is the building just north of here. A year ago, from this viewpoint, if you turned around, you’d see an abandoned housing community. Once vibrant in the 50’s and 60’s. The neighborhood can tell you more about that time when you stop by in person.
Through community outreach, Devington discovered they were in need of a Senior Housing Community as a plan of action for this site. So the story continues…First Devington, plans to open this Summer 2013.
The Community and the Seniors moving into this building were engaged in the design process. They even voted on the color of the building. They wanted bright colors that celebrated their neighborhood, their lives, something that pulls them outside to join their community.
The viewpoint in the images above, looking at First Devington and the Devington Shopping Plaza comes from the IndyGo Bus Stop at that intersection.
From all of this community engagement, a question came about, “How do we transform the way residents feel about taking the bus?” What if we celebrated it. Continued to engage the community and add some color. Get more people involved not only within the community, but invite organizations outside of the community in to be a part of this. A dialogue started about what could happen here. Personal interviews with those at the stop and throughout the community. Devington learned even more about itself and residents continued to get to know one another.
They applied for the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Greenspace grant, and won. IndyGo is helping out, they are getting a new shelter. They now have funding to support the visions of the site including adding salvaged and repurposed Bush Stadium Seats and RCA Dome fabric from People for Urban Progress. Plants and trees will be incorporated into the site. The KIB Greenspace Grant is just one funding partner of many more traditional, the City of Indianapolis, the Senior Housing Site Developer, Indianapolis Power and Light to name a few.
When the First Devington development began, w/purpose noticed old pavers on site and saw an opportunity to salvage and think about repurposing them at the bus stop. They are heavy. They took them to Arlington High School. Invited the new Art Teacher to be a part of this project. The students wanted to keep these vibrant colors that just seem fitting to be in eyeshot of the mural and the new First Devington project. The students painted these blocks and it didn’t stop there. They were engaged further and asked “What can you imagine at this bus stop?” The students had really creative ideas. We want to engage our youth, before they grow old and lose that creativity, imagining turning the seemingly impossible… possible. They had ideas like, what if you were sitting in the shelter and it was like you were in a fish bowl. Or what if the sides of the shelter had messages for the bus riders and the community etched into the glass. That is the direction that Devington wants to take. They are on Power2Give to fundraise, turning a seemingly impossible idea… possible.
Progress Report: They are well on their way to install these pavers. New concrete has been poured. They should have the PUPstop seats in soon. The shade structure is being developed. They can still use your help, to turn the students vision into reality. Please consider donating what you can, to Devington Community Hub and Bus Stop on Power2Give.
There are so many positive community building stories coming out of this Devington Bus Stop project that I didn’t even include in this post. I am grateful to be playing a small part. Come join us and be a part of this.